Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
EP Year: 2013
Sludgy, downtuned deathcore seems to be the trend right now, and Virginia-based deathcore outlet Cerebus are a prime example of how this shit should be done. Sounding like Black Tongue’s angsty little brother, and having lyrical content worthy of Depths, these guys fucking destroy. You can already tell what this band sounds like, now that I’ve placed them in the same vein as Black Tongue, but do not take that as Cerebus being generic. These lads bring some big guns to the table.
This EP opens with the creepiest soundbite/movie extract I’ve ever heard, with a man’s distorted, demonic voice asking a girl to put the gun down. Then, a gunshot rings out, and this murderous bitch says we’re all going to die. And fuck, she is right. As soon as those heavily downtuned, crushing guitars begin to chime their anthem of hate, the ridiculously guttural vocals also kick in, sounding a bit like the devil with a throat infection. Resonating throughout the EP is this thick, grimy tone that perfectly sets up a choking atmosphere of anger and intensity, up to the standards of Oceano, Black Tongue and Catalepsy. Interspersed within the EP are some gnarly highs, shrieking and screeching while the guitars and drums pound away.
All of the instrumental work is outstanding on this album, as much as downtuned deathcore is just slow, chug work, Cerebus manage to find a lot of opportunities for experimentation, such as unexpected double bass sessions and dissonant backing rhythm riffs that only serve to increase the creepiness and eeriness of their songs. Everything this band does in their music is so well done….except for one. Structure. At a lot of the points in the EP, I found myself finding the vocals not matching up at all with the instrumental work, sounding very unstructured and out of time in a lot of places. I would really be enjoying a section, nodding my head and scrunching my nose at the heavy shit on display, when suddenly the vocals and instruments would become disjointed and out of sync. This is a little disappointing, but bearable, their talent and sound more than makes up for this.
This is just murderous. If Jack The Ripper was still alive now, in 2014, this EP would make it’s way onto his running playlist.